Folk singer Woody Guthrie's 1940 concept album "Dust Bowl Ballads" tells the story of how drought, mismanaged farmland and massive dust storms left millions devastated during the Great Depression.
Guthrie sings on the first track: "From Denver, Colorado, they said it blew so strong. They thought that they could hold out, but they didn't know how long."
The album inspired Fort Collins musician Logan Farmer to write his own concept album, by imagining songs farmers might sing in the face of climate change.
Farmer's debut, "Still No Mother," instead morphed into a personal exploration of his own climate anxiety.
"It's a difficult reality to live in and I don't think we can often comprehend it," Farmer said of his current state of mind, as wildfires rage in the West and hurricane Laura slams into Louisiana.
Farmer admits it's easy for him to escape that reality at times, but this new album is the process of him confronting his climate change grief. Farmer's songs explore the physiological impacts of living in a physically changing world.
He doesn't consider his work preachy. He said the songs could speak to "any crisis that you're facing in life. It just so happened for me to be climate anxiety, which is something that I think we're all dealing with in our own ways."
His past work, released under the artist name Monarch Mtn, is "more storytelling with fictional characters," and why Farmer at first thought he'd make a climate change concept album.
"But this is something that was really hitting home for me," Farmer said. His personal connection to the album played a big role in why Farmer released an album under his given name for the first time.
The album, Still No Mother, is out now on Western Vinyl.